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Waco - The Rules of Engagement

4.6 out of 5 stars 159 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Waco: The Rules of Engagement, shaking the foundation of democracy, the shocking revelations behind the tragic series of events outside Waco, Texas that killed four federal agents and 76 men, women and children of the Branch Davidian religious sect is exposed Winner of an Academy-Award® nomination, an Emmy Award® and the IDA Feature Award, Waco: The Rules of Engagement brings forth devastating evidence of federal law enforcement gone tragically wrong. It dares to suggest the ATF provoked war with a group whose apocalyptic religious beliefs and rumored manufacturing of illegal weapons made them easy targets for an inevitable abuse of its members civil and human rights. Waco: The Rules of Engagement will change forever the way the world thinks and talks about the tragedy at Waco and, most importantly, it will renew our commitment to the basic precepts of tolerance and freedom upon which American society is built.

Review

Two Thumbs Way Up --Siskel & Ebert

WACO: THE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT is a highly unflattering (to say the least) account of the FBI and ATF s disastrous handling of the incident in which cult leader David Koresh and over 70 of his followers were killed while trapped inside their burning compound, following a standoff that lasted over two months. Whether you believe that the deaths at Waco were the result of conspiracy, blatant incompetence, or simply an unforeseeable tragedy, it is likely that this documentary will surprise, disturb, and even anger you with the evidence presented. Most Americans (including your humble reviewer) probably let Waco slip through the cracks of our collective consciousness. What little we knew about it was what came through momentary media sound bites. David Koresh, a fanatical cult leader accused of stockpiling illegal weapons in his compound, resisted ATF efforts to serve a search warrant. A firefight ensued, leaving a few agents dead and several more injured. The agents withdrew, and then called in the FBI to clean up their mess. What followed was a standoff that lasted for several weeks, followed by a fire that trapped most of the sect s members inside the compound, with only a few escaping alive. The fire was explained away at the time as a tragic accident, or perhaps being set by the cult itself as part of a mass suicide, ala Jonestown. --Brian McKay, Hollywood Bitch Slap

Special Features

  • Character Updates
  • Additional FLIR footage
  • Extended 911 Call
  • True Stories Promo Clips

Product Details

  • Actors: Clive Doyle, Dan Gifford
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: New Yorker
  • DVD Release Date: December 9, 2003
  • Run Time: 136 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000DIJOO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,590 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Waco - The Rules of Engagement" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
As one who has long been dubious of the morals and motivations of our elected leaders (regardless of party) and - even more so -the agencies (ATF, CIA, FBI, etc.) which supposedly answer to them, I was none too surprised by the revelations of the riveting 1997 documentary/expose, "Waco, The Rules of Engagement". Those revelations, in a nutshell, are as follows: that the ATF and FBI under the leadership of Janet Reno and the Clinton Administration murdered some 86 men, women and children after a 51 day siege. Now, that these allegations do not surprise me may say more about me than it does about the state of political reality in this country - I am willing to concede that - but this is a powerful piece of film making which goes a long way toward confirming any suspicions of corruption and "Big Brotherism" myself and like minded people may have entertained.

I know nothing about the filmmakers - their political leanings, religious beliefs and favorite colors are a mystery to me - but it seems a fair bet they lean to the left. I make this observation because this film is thus far my only source of information regarding the Waco tragedy and I have no idea how objective it is or is not. It seems that there is a definite bias in favor of the Branch Davidians but, in light of the more than compelling evidence presented here against the ATF/FBI, the objectivity of the filmmakers almost seems a moot point.
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By A Customer on February 23, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Waco: The Rules of Engagement should be required viewing by all seniors in every public high school in the land.
This documentary may be the single most shocking evidence of the actual impact of a rougue government, bent on murdering it's own citizens. Using an impressive combination of video from the Waco site, congressional hearings, night vision, news camera film clips and actual testimony, this video leaves no doubt that the U.S. Government, under Janet Reno and William Jefferson Clinton murdered innocent civilians. One of the hidden stars in this movie is the arrogant, obnoxious, and totally disrepectful Charles Schummer, then a congressman. Of special interest is the infra-red film of the night sieges by the BATF and FBI where any compound resident attempting to stray outside of the buildings is summarily executed by agents equipped with night vision. The IR film conclusively shows this outright murder while the agents are shown recounting one falsehood after another. Lying, subterfuge, confusion, murder, violence against innocent citizens, all condoned by the Attorney General of the United States. It almost sounds like a made for TV movie that is too far-fetched to be true. Sadly, it is all documented, believable, and excessively frightening.
Comment 53 of 58 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: VHS Tape
Please allow me to share my frank reaction and some random thoughts after viewing this film.

The Waco/Branch Davidian matter has already became old news. I went into a viewing of this with entertainment in mind, expecting a revelation on the order of "there are Martian corpses at Area 51", or "9-11 was planned by George W Bush". What I came away with is the disgusting feeling that the federal government has committed a big crime, covered it up, and corporate media are a willing accomplice. BTW - the "Davidian" aspect of this group's name takes root in the King David of the Old Testament, NOT in personality David Koresh.

I have heretofore always believed, as I had been taught via TV, that the Branch Davidians were an anti-government, religious cultic sect, and that David Koresh was insane and held himself out as their "messiah" and/or the reincarnation of the Biblical Jesus.

What I found in this film was that the Branch Davidians were a group of Christian Bible-scholars - of mixed race, gender, age, marital status - that possessed an above average dedication to wringing truth from the scriptures, and courage to NOT be lead by a mainstream religion ring through their nose. What I saw in the film strongly indicates that this was NOT a Jim Jones Guyana situation (which did indeed have all the attributes of being a genuine wacky cult). I disagree with some of Koresh's interpretations, but that is irrelevant.

If I may speak plainly: When the Branch Davidians resisted government interference in the practice of their non-mainstream but definitely Biblical Christian religion . . . then U.S.
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1 Comment 31 of 33 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: VHS Tape
This movie shook me to the core. Never before have I had my assumptions and prejudices thrown back in my face with such force. While there may have been some bias in the way the material is presented, there didn't seem to be. I felt like I was being given the facts and then allowed to process them as I saw fit. The end result in my case is a complete overhaul of my long-held beliefs about "freedom" in America.
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